After over 12 years and more than 520 sessions, Cafe Philosophy came to a unlikely conclusion in July 15, 2009.
"It has been a great ride, but a greater one awaits," says Dr. Michael Picard, founder and default facilitator since the inception of Cafe Philosophy on January 28, 1997. "I was determined to make a go of it, and make philosophy happen at street level, in a cafe, open to one and all. Many said it could not be done, that it defeated the very purpose of philosophy to engage in it with just anyone, as if it had never happened since Socrates. But thanks to a thinking public it thrived, and we were experimenting and innovating till the end."
The cause of the end is his upcoming move to Vancouver in August 09, to take up an offer to teach philosophy at Douglas College. In response to the question he is most often asked, whether he will start another Cafe Philosophy there, he says, "one day, maybe, not right away. I am not done with philosophy in a cafe, or in and with the public and in venues beyond the academy. When it comes, it will be something new, something fresh, based on what was tried and learned these past few years. Wait for it!"